Facebook time unit
The Facebook application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017.REUTERS/Thomas White

Facebook said it has invented a new unit of time called "Flick," which is 1/705,600,000 of a second, making it slightly larger than a nanosecond. The social media giant is not trying to introduce a new time unit for your watch, but it has been created to theoretically make video and audio production much more harmonious.

"We've launched Flicks, a unit of time, slightly larger than a nanosecond that exactly subdivides media frame rates and sampling frequencies," Facebook Open Source said in a post on Twitter.

According to its Github documentation, it doesn't matter if your video is 24hz, 25hz, 30hz, 48hz, 50hz, 60hz, 90hz, 100hz, or 120hz as Flicks ensures that they are all in sync while still using whole integers. It's possible because 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 90, 100 and 120 are among the numbers into which 1/705,600,000 divides evenly.

For example, the 24 frames per second (FPS) for movies equal to 0.041666666667, which can be rounded up to 0.04167. It may be easier to remember, but can also be messy for people working in visual effects and post-production as they need to ensure that everything is in sync.

This is where Flicks come into play as they turn these numbers into exact round numbers. For instance, 24 FPS is 29,400,000 flicks, 30 FPS is 23,520,000 flicks, 120 FPS is 5,880,000 flicks and 44,100 FPS is 16,000 flicks.

"When working creating visual effects for film, television, and other media, it is common to run simulations or other time-integrating processes which subdivide a single frame of time into a fixed, integer number of subdivisions. It is handy to be able to accumulate these subdivisions to create exact 1-frame and 1-second intervals, for a variety of reasons," according to the Github documentation.